Faz-tastic – pack duo set for return

Wigan Warriors' Liam Farrell celebrates as he runs over to score a try against St Helens
Wigan Warriors' Liam Farrell celebrates as he runs over to score a try against St Helens

SHAUN Wane will have no hesitations about throwing Ben Flower and Liam Farrell into the cauldron of a Challenge Cup quarter-final if they are fit to return.

The international forwards are both in the equation for Saturday’s visit of high-flying Castleford.

Wane will wait until they get the green-light from the medical staff before confirming his team line-up.

Welsh prop Flower has missed the last seven games since injuring his ankle in the 33-14 derby victory at St Helens.

England World Cup ace Farrell suffered a similar injury in the defeat at Leeds a month ago.

But Wane has no concerns they will be underdone, and reckons their demanding training sessions – as well as the prize at stake this weekend – will combat any rustiness or lack of match-fitness.

“There’s a good chance on Benny and Faz, we’ll look at them this week,” he said yesterday.

“This game is a must-win for us, it’s do or die and I want my best team on the pitch.

“I’ve no worries about those two players if they’re okay to play. They’re athletes, they’ve been working hard in training, and although they haven’t played in a while they know what to do.

“The adrenaline and emotions of the game will carry them through – it’s a case of mind over matter.”

Welshman Flower was outstanding before suffering his injury, and his return would shore up an already strong front-row where Scott Taylor, Gil Dudson, Dom Crosby, Jordan James and youngster Ryan Sutton have been producing the goods in recent weeks. Elsewhere, Wane expects Mike McIlorum and Dan Sarginson to come back into the frame after niggling injuries kept them out of the 31-22 loss at Huddersfield last Thursday.

With captain Sean O’Loughlin figuring in that match - his first domestic loss in 14 months – the competition for places will intensify as the rest of the injured players filter back into the side.

Prop Eddy Pettybourne is still another two weeks away after a slight setback in his recovery from a leg problem. And while Josh Charnley is inching close to a return it’s thought Saturday’s match may come too soon for him.

Tony Clubb, Iain Thornley and Blake Green are still absent with longer-term injuries.